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In a surprise move, Google has announced that it is retiring its FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) algorithm in favor of a new Topics API.
The FLoC algorithm was designed to allow multiple devices to learn jointly from data, without ever sharing the data itself.
FLoC was a machine learning algorithm that allowed companies to target ads and content to specific groups of people. However, it was found to be ineffective and potentially harmful to user privacy. The Topics API will allow companies to target ads and content to specific topics, instead of specific groups of people.
The Topics API also allows devices to learn about specific topics, without ever knowing the identities of the people involved. It does this by identifying topics from the text of documents, and then tracking how those topics change over time.
This approach has several advantages over FLoC. First, it is more efficient, because devices can learn about topics without having to communicate with each other. Second, it is more privacy-friendly, because it does not require any sharing of personal data.
This change is likely to have a major impact on the way online marketing is conducted. The Topics API is more accurate and efficient than FLoC, and it is also more privacy-friendly. Marketers will need to adapt to this change in order to remain effective.
Google has not given a reason for its decision to retire FLoC, but it is likely that the Topics API provides a better way to achieve the same goals.
If you are a business that needs to share data securely and anonymously, you should start planning to migrate to the Topics API.